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Hello all,

I just recently bought a 1983 KZ 550. I am really excited about this bike. But have run into a few snags. I haven't ever owned a street bike, just dirt and that was a long time ago. Each time that I look up a new question, I am directed here.

I bought and test rode the bike and it ran well. The guy I bought it from had it stored in the garage for the winter, but it ran well when we rode it.

Upon getting it home, and getting fresh gas in it I have encountered a few problems:

1. it was running kind of choppy like it was running out of gas, so we put new gas in and now it won't start and gas is running out of the overflow tubes of the carbs. I am assuming these just need cleaned?

2. When you pull the front brake the front of the bike dives? Can someone assist me in knowing how to adjust these up better.

Thanks, I have really enjoyed the threads that I have been reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also can someone point me to a place where i can learn about the difference between my bike and the LTD. My bike says KZ550SS on the side panels.
 

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Dive is normal, weight shift. Sounds like a stuck float. Try tapping on the float bowl of the leaking carb. It might break loose. Maybe run some Seafoam in the gas to help clean things out. Otherwise it's carbs off and clean 'em time.

The Spectre was the same as the shaft drive LTD, which was pretty much the same as the chain drive, but obviously with shaft drive... got that?
 

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Hello all
Hello :biggrin:


When you pull the front brake the front of the bike dives? Can someone assist me in knowing how to adjust these up better.
Like KLX said it could be normal dive but if it's really bad then you might need to drain and renew your fork-oil, on an older bike it always a good idea if you don't know the history. If it's been done but still excessive then maybe use a slightly thicker oil grade.
 

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Good point OneShadeOfGreen... wish I'd had the presence of mind to say it. Also softer springing of a cruiser will contribute to diving under braking. But heed the advice and change out the fork oil, it's probably the original which likely wasn't the best of fluids when new. That was kind of the case back then.

While you're doing so, it might just be worth changing out the old seals just because you're in there... unless it's just to expensive to do so. Definitely change seals if you see the slightest weeping of oil on the fork.
 

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^ Im expecting you have the air damapened forks, using air, and springs to hold up weight of bike, when I got my seals replaced, I rebuilt the forks with 1/2" spacers on top of the springs and run no air press. --just a thought--

progressive suspension has a listing for fork springs for these bikes!

mine is a spectre by vin, but side panels are from an LTD.
 

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Man, been a while. I forgot about the air assist on all those 80s bikes, My Wings had a requirement for air in the forks. Progressive Suspension springs were the #1 modification for them. I also did the PS springs in my Zephyr, which had over half the travel in suspension sag on the front. About $70 of the best money you'll ever spend on a bike. If you have it to spare, do it, then skip out on any air assist. All the air does is increase seal stiction, hindering smooth movement.
 

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The air-pressure was so minimal as to be a waste of time though if i remember right (it were Z/GT750s i'm basing that on) :biggrin:
 
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